Available for bookings – Editorial Critiques

Hi everyone, I currently have a slot available in my schedule for one novel edit in November – if you have something you’ve been working on, send me an email at laurenjamesauthor@gmail.com. Details on my services are below.

From January 2021 I’m also running my online YA mentoring course for writers through WriteMentor for the fourth time! Applications are now open.

I specialise in Science Fiction and Fantasy or Contemporary Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction, but I’ve worked on non-fiction and memoir writing too. I’ve edited the work of over fifty writers, with multiple clients going on to receive offers of representation from agents and traditional book deals.

I focus on developing plot, pacing, character, dialogue and world-building to help analyse the work in preparation for submission to a literary agent. I can help with sensitivity reading your manuscript for LGBT+ representation.

I will not be reading your writing for grammar or spelling mistakes, and won’t judge you for errors – I am purely looking at the bigger picture. The fine tuning comes later, when all of the building blocks are in place.

Query Package – Feedback on a cover letter, synopsis and the first 50 pages (or 10,000 words) of a manuscript. Critiques will be a minimum of 1000 words of overall feedback, which includes line edits and comments on the documents. I will also read the edited query when it is complete to provide any final notes before agent submission.

£145

Full Manuscript Package – Feedback on a cover letter, synopsis and full manuscript. Critiques will be a minimum of 2500 words, which includes a mix of line edits and comments on the documents, and a letter of overall feedback. I will also look over the edited manuscript when it is complete to provide any final notes before agent submission.

This is the best choice if you are willing to invest a lot of time into editing the manuscript to make it the best it can possibly be. If you aren’t able to commit to that level of work, I suggest the line edit package below.

£4.50 per thousand words of manuscript, or £180 for works shorter than 40,000 words (excludes word count of cover letter and synopsis)

Line Edit Package – An in-depth sentence-by-sentence edit of the manuscript, correcting edits and bringing up the prose to the best standard it can be. This edit will make only minor suggestions for changes to character motivations, scene choices and plot points. It will mainly focus on improving what has already been written.

£7.50 per thousand words of manuscript (excludes word count of cover letter and synopsis)

Email me at laurenjamesauthor@gmail.com for more information. It would be helpful, though not essential, if you could send a 1,000 word writing sample along with your enquiry. I’m currently taking bookings for November 2020.

Critiques will be sent back within 4 weeks of payment. Manuscripts must be sent as a Microsoft Word document with double line spacing. Payment is taken by PayPal on acceptance of the manuscript. An invoice will be provided. Refunds available upon cancellation, providing the work has not yet been completed. I reserve the right to refuse applications due to time restrictions.

My experience: I have written 9 novels and 4 novellas, and I’m published traditionally in the United Kingdom, USA, Australia, and in 5 languages worldwide. I am a career novelist and make a living wage from my writing. I work as a creative writing teacher for Coventry University, Writing West Midlands and WriteMentor.


Testimonials

“Lauren is my first port of call for all my works-in-progress. She has a keen eye for errors and inconsistencies and has made some phenomenal suggestions for improvement, while completely understanding and respecting my own vision.”

Alice Oseman, YA author of Radio Silence and Solitaire and creator of webcomic HEARTSTOPPER.

“Comprehensive feedback, well thought-out comments, and just the right balance between praise and criticism.”

Lucy Saxon, YA fantasy author of The Tellus Series, including Take Back the Skies, The Almost King and The City Bleeds Gold.

“Lauren provides extremely helpful feedback to a high standard and is someone I really trust with my work.”

Kate Ormand, YA author of Dark Days and shape-shifter circus series, The Wanderers and The Pack. The Wanderers was honored as “Winner” in the “Fiction: Young Adult” category of the 2015 USA Best Book Awards.

“I was excited to have my critique edited by Lauren James! With her stellar advice I was able to get recognised! I trust her with my work.”

Alexandra Perchanidou, Blogger/Author of THREE GHOSTS FOR ANASTASIA

Lauren gave incredibly detailed, insightful feedback about my manuscript, which pushed me to get my manuscript ready for submission to agents. It’s really useful to get a fresh perspective from someone so knowledgeable and with a proven track record. I’ve since got an agent and MINA AND THE UNDEAD will be published by UCLan in April 2021.

Amy McCaw, Author of Mina and the Undead (UCLan, 2021)

Having Lauren James critique my work was an incredibly helpful experience. She offered great ideas for improvements and was really positive and encouraging about my chapters, and as such I feel so much more confident about moving forward with edits!

Sarah Corrigan, Blogger & Aspiring author

Lauren’s services have been invaluable – I’d been stuck in a cycle of rejections and knew I needed a professional eye to help. Lauren is very fast, efficient and kind which is what you need when sharing your creative work. She’s always there for follow up questions despite her busy schedule. If you’re not sure what to do next with your manuscript, Lauren will have the answer!

Shelley Bartup, Aspiring author

Lauren really helped me shake up stagnant parts of my manuscript that had largely remained in the same format since the first draft. I was unsure of what to do to improve them, but Lauren’s keen editor’s eye and compassion helped me to understand what would work best for my characters.

From using Lauren’s services I have a newfound confidence in my writing abilities and a determination to keep improving my manuscripts. I cannot recommend her enough!

Georgia Campbell, Aspiring author

I can’t recommend Lauren’s editorial services highly enough. Besides her obvious credentials as a successful writer, she is also a talented editor. The feedback she provided on my opening chapters, as well as my book proposal, was not only brilliantly insightful but also super speedy, supportive and great value for money. She is everything your manuscript needs.

Lorna Riley, Aspiring author

After floundering about in a state of writerly anxiety, I knew it was time for my manuscript to be read by someone other than myself and my dog. Lauren has since proved to be completely invaluable. Her thoughtful comments and brilliant feedback left me nodding at my computer; eager to get the next draft underway. Her kindness, efficiency and keen-eye are just what your work-in-progress needs!

Blake Polden, Aspiring author

It’s difficult enough as a writer to share your work with your friends but asking a writer whose work you absolutely love is mildly terrifying. I’m pleased to say that Lauren quickly put me at ease with her helpful mix of positive and constructive feedback. She reminded me of all those things I loved about my stories but helpfully pointed out where the plot wasn’t quite working and challenged me to think the story through. Not only that but she was efficient and exceptionally encouraging, coming back to check how I was progressing with my edits. As a result I had lots of positive feedback describing my manuscript as polished and well written, Lauren has played a vital role in helping me feel confident to query.

Jo Clarke, Aspiring author

Lauren’s editorial eye is superb and her suggestions on changes for my manuscript and query were insightful and spot-on. Her critique gave me the confidence to continue writing LGBTQ stories with complex, realistic, characters – and her knowledge of the YA market is invaluable! Lauren showed a deep understanding of what I was hoping to achieve with my manuscript and working with her was an absolute joy that I would recommend to any aspiring author. With Lauren’s guidance I have received some good feedback from agents on my submission and hope to further this success in the future.

Jen Gallagher, Aspiring author

Lauren James understood exactly what was at the heart of my novel and how to kick it into shape and gave me heartfelt advice and recommendations for how to move forward for which I am extremely grateful.

Jamie-Lee Turner, 2019 class of the WriteMentor mentoring course

Lauren James is an amazing tutor – so approachable and I am in awe of her work. The feedback she gave on my writing was perfect. She showed me areas to improve and think about. Character relations I hadn’t thought about before speaking to her.

Eiman Munro, 2019 class of the WriteMentor mentoring course

Lauren James was an absolutely superb teacher, providing an entirely new viewpoint to my work and telling us all the little secrets about writing.

Melissa Welliver, 2019 class of the WriteMentor mentoring course

Published by Lauren James

Lauren James was born in 1992, and has a Masters degree from the University of Nottingham, UK, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. She is the twice Carnegie-nominated British Young Adult author of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, The Quiet at the End of the World and The Next Together series, as well as the dyslexia-friendly novella The Starlight Watchmaker and serialised online novel An Unauthorised Fan Treatise. Her upcoming release is The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker. She started writing during secondary school English classes, because she couldn’t stop thinking about a couple who kept falling in love throughout history. She sold the rights to the novel when she was 21, whilst she was still at university. Her books have sold over fifty thousand copies in the UK alone, and been translated into five languages worldwide. Her writing has been described as ‘gripping romantic sci-fi’ by the Wall Street Journal and ‘a strange, witty, compulsively unpredictable read which blows most of its new YA-suspense brethren out of the water’ by Entertainment Weekly. The Last Beginning was named one of the best LGBT-inclusive works for young adults by the Independent. Lauren is a passionate advocate of STEM further education, and all of her books feature female scientists in prominent roles. The Loneliest Girl in the Universe was inspired by a Physics calculation she was assigned at university. The Quiet at the End of the World considers the legacy and evolution of the human race into the far future. Lauren lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient.  She has written articles for numerous publications, including the GuardianBuzzfeed, Den of GeekThe Toast, and the Children’s Writers and Artist’s Yearbook 2020. She teaches creative writing for Coventry University, WriteMentor, and Writing West Midlands, providing creative writing courses to children through the Spark Young Writers programme.

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